JoeMcPhee (8302) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 28, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at American Flatbread, Burlington VT. Pale amber beer with aroma of pine and basil. Thyme and rosemary herbaceousness also come into play. A hint of citrus. Fresh and sweet with lots of herbal character. Clean malts with a sweet earthy character on the back. Lightly fruity and minty on the back. A very nice gruit.
MaBeer1972 (1262) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 17, 2006
2.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
A very interesting, light, summer brew. Thin yellow color, no head at all. Surprisingly, very flavorful and refreshing. Floral, but not a hoppy floral. It is so great to try new things. All the hopheads will be perhaps dissapointed here. Oh well - need an open mind with this one. I would love to try a home brew of this style.
DYCSoccer17 (3288) - Woodland, California, USA - JUN 16, 2006
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
4 ounce sample on tap labelled as "Summer Gruit". Sweet, slight berry-like fruitiness with some yeasty banana aromas present. Interesting aroma. Transparent golden color with a fairly small off-white head. Mildly floral, lightly sweet start. Middle is rather bland with some biscuit maltiness. Finishes with more floral, perfumey flavors. Good n floral and rather refreshing. I personally prefer barrel-aged imperial gruits, though.
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - MAR 20, 2006
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
XBF06: Orange with a small white head, fruit and alcohol in the aroma with clashing spices, thin bodied, starts and ends sweet. Not my bag baby.
ClarkVV (3891) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 20, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2006 2006 draught at EBF ’06 on 2/11/06. Thick looking, goldenrod to bright pencil-yellow, with a foamy white head, surprisingly poorly retained, though it does leave a filmy lace behind. Fair amount of haziness with only bits of bubbles here and there. The nose comes alive with plenty of rich honey and dough. Light vanilla icing and hints of lemon with a touch of drying, nettle-like herbal qualities. Sweet gale and rosemary, with yarrow and juniper as Barry says. Stuff like that. However, the drying note is only minimally felt as this stuff is powerfully malty, with a bit of candied peach and apricot. The flavor confirms the sweetness from the aroma, with a thickening, nearly syrupy mouthfeel (were it not for the pressurized C02, this stuff would be too thick and syrupy, as the cask sample Barry had). Paul (the brewer) told me that he went light on the herbs, only adding a few to the boil and had intended to add a tincture of various mixed herbs to the cask, a sort of dry-hopping of herbs (though a tincture is a liquid, so not really). Anyways, he didnt do that, and hence we have a very malty little gruit. But with the carbonation mitigating the syrupiness, I found the flavors to be absolutely interesting. Light almond skins, thyme, juniper and plenty more vanilla icing and light vanilla extract-like notes. Some fruity cherries and yellow raisins finish things off. Tomme Arthur, at the next booth over, was duly impressed. Tremendously well-done in that it is extremely balanced and only moderately spiced. Too many gruits succumb to a heavy, astringent at times, fatiguing at times, spice/herb level. This one was a malt beverage first, with just light spices added for balance. Very similar to Kuhnhenn’s Gruit, though even maltier than that one, with less herbal notes. No alcohol apparency, thinning, wateriness.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JAN 2, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2007 January 2006: Pint on cask at the brewpub. Oily light amber with little head...caramel and light juniper in the aroma, a bit of mint and other sharp herbs if you give it some breathing room....body extremely sweet, a bit cherry-cough syrup-like/medicinal, loads of honey, lightly minty, spicy, gin-like....syrupy, very thick body without a trace of bitterness, very low carbonation. Interesting, but not as good as the Gruit from Three Needs being served concurrently a block away. 7/3/6/3/13 3.2
December 30 2006: The 2006 winter version is much spicier and more expressive in the nose, twiggy and carroway, juniper and oak-inflected; the body is smooth and melllow though a touch oily, faintly alcoholic with hints of honey upfront, dry later, juicy and spicy with white pepper and rye....very full, light carbonation, just beautifully done, complex and highly drinkable example. Rating used is for current sample.